East Central One Ltd. Win03
Frequent visitors to these shores from Sweden produce fine third album.
Having worked with acclaimed producer Malcolm Burn on their last release, Winter wanted to return to their roots and record an album back in Sweden . TEN SONGS is the result and every song is a real gem, none forgettable, all memorable, just about all songs have a hook and indeed this is quite a commercial release that would fit in nicely with Radio Two play lists quite easily.
All songs are written by lead singer and guitarist Anna-Lena Winter apart from Shadow On The Wall a co write with band member Hakan Svensson, the band produced and arranged the album themselves, losing nothing from not having a top producer in charge. The opening track Faith is a slow rocking ballad, a tale of how the world has changed for the worse, but could be better if we just have faith.
Anna’s vocal delivery has been compared favourably with Lucinda Williams and this shows up well on tracks such as Out Of Sight and Sweet Goodbye, (now released as a single) The rhythm section of Abbe Abrahamsson on drums and bassist Johan Stromberg hold the beat throughout and never put a foot wrong, a joy to listen to. Personal favourite for me is the beautiful Love In Disguise a song about a couple still together long after the love has left, this is a real classic and I could see Terry Wogan or Jeremy Vine playing this on one of their shows during the day, not hidden away in the grave yard shift, very commercial. Guitarist Hakan Svensson is a superb player and seems to play in a very relaxed way, listen to him on tracks such as Carry Me and Artificial Love to see what I mean, switching from acoustic to Z Z Top style lead on the latter.
At just over 38 minutes long it’s not the longest album in the world, but what you get is quality before quantity I would rather listen to ten good songs than a longer release with the all too often collection of dull tracks that you end up just skipping. Umbrella Bar strays close to good old British pub rock territory and features the only additional musician Ulf Stenberg on keyboards. The album closes with The Rage a truly emotional song about the terrible events of the Tsunami disaster that will pull at your heart strings and is sung with Anna showing real emotion and this really comes across well, very genuine. The album was recorded in an old Swedish mission house called Rackeby Chapel, chosen for superb acoustics and this gives the cd a very live feel. I really cannot fault this release and therefore give it the full five stars and it is certainly in my top five for 2007, highly recommended.